Landscapes after old masters

Artist: Dong Qichang (Chinese, 1555–1636)

Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)

Date: dated 1630

Culture: China

Medium: Album of eight leaves; ink on paper

Dimensions: Image (each): 9 5/8 x 6 5/16 in. (24.4 x 16 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Edward Elliott Family Collection, Gift of Douglas Dillon, 1986

Accession Number: 1986.266.5a–k


Dong Qichang initiated a revolution in painting through the study of ancient masters. Before Dong, studying paintings by past masters was considered an activity suitable only for students. Dong insisted that the study of old masters was a lifelong journey, one that enhanced an artist’s personal voice, rather than stifling it. His own highly original artistic output demonstrated that one could use the past to forge a path forward.